Wisbech Town 0-3 Carlton Town (Northern Premier League Midlands Division) 25.09.21
Carlton Town returned to winning ways with a comfortable 3-0 win at struggling Wisbech Town.
Goals from Louis Czerwak, Niall Davie and Tyler Johal secured the win, a first in four games for the Millers after draws with Halesowen and Ilkeston and a defeat at Belper. What was even more impressive was the fact that they did so without a number of key players, including Aaron Opoku, Tyler Blake and Nat Watson. As an added bonus, the match also saw the return from injury for player-coach Martin Ball, seven months after surgery on a cruciate ligament.
The Millers made four changes from the side which had lost at Belper with Deon Meikle, Czerwak, Daryll Thomas and new signing Kieran Knight coming in for Opoku, Blake, Watson and Toby Moore.
Wisbech came into the match on the back of an away wit at Daventry and they started the sharper with Avelino Viera forcing an early fine save from Kieran Preston.
The Millers though soon found their rhythm and Thomas was presented with a glorious chance to score on five minutes following a lovely run and cross by Johal, but he lifted his effort over the bar from six yards.
From then on Carlton took control of the first half. Goalkeeper Charlie Congreve missed a Davie corner on 14 minutes but no-one was on hand to tap home, but four minutes later the Millers were in front. Jared Holmes, having another excellent game in midfield, sent a delightful ball through to send Czerwak clear of Liam Marshall and he drew Congreve before firing across him and into the corner of the net.
Seven minutes later Carlton doubled their lead with a goal that brought back some memories of the Wayne Scott era. Lawrence Gorman launched a long throw to the near post. Congreve was beaten to the ball by Meikle, whose flicked header was headed home at the back post into an unguarded net by Davie.
Davie, continuing his excellent start to the campaign, then held the ball up on the left before sending Czerwak through on gaol again. Congreve saved his first effort and Czerwak lifted the rebound over the bar with the goal gaping.
Wisbech’s only real moment of threat in the first half came shortly afterwards when Toby Allen advanced down the right and sent over a tremendous cross which was just begging to be converted, but was missed by everyone.
Gorman went off injured early in the second half so Moore came on and Dan Brown moved to right back. Carlton still pushed forward and a Davie free kick was inches away from Meikle’s head and a certain goal.
Dan Fletcher then came on for his first game since picking up an injury in the first week of the season. It took him only seven minutes to receive a welcome-back yellow card.
But as the half progressed Carlton’s passing and moving started to go awry and Wisbech offered more of a threat. A lovely cross from Roque Nchaso was only cleared by an excellent header from Brown before Nchaso headed over the bar from the resulting corner when he really should have scored.
The game had become very scrappy and the Millers were grateful to Holmes for a late clearance and to a combination of Fletcher and Preston for a fine save from Liam Adams.
But Carlton sealed the win two minutes from time with a third goal. Davie showed some trickery on the right before crossing to Knight. He tried a spectacular overhead kick but could only glance the ball into the path of Johal who rifled a shot past Cogreve to the delight of the small band of travelling supporters behind the goal.
There was just about time for the return of Ball, replacing man of the match Czerwak for the final moments of the game. At full time the players showed generous appreciation to those supporters who had made one of the longest trips of the season. It was returned in kind.
Carlton Town: Preston, Gorman (Moore 52), Johal, Brown, Meikle, Holmes, Czerwak (Ball 89), Maddison, Thomas (Fletcher 62), Knight, Davie.
*Article provided by Sky Blue Miller.
*Main image @stevemack2017 celebrations after the game which see’s Carlton move into third.